Healthy eating does not have to be expensive and there are many ways to cut down the costs of the food shop.
With just a little extra time spent on planning, saving money is much easier than you might at first think. We have joined the Organix No Junk Journey and over the next few months, we’re going to be doing our very best to make sure we’re eating well for less, shopping savvy and budgeting friendly meals :) #nojunkpromise
As a family of 4 we were spending over £120 a week on food. We asked The Dad Network followers how much they were spending and the results were really interesting. A few families were spending as much as us but the majority of families were saying they had managed to cut their food spend down to around £50 just by making simple changes to the way they shopped.
We listened to all of their tips and suggestions and decided to set ourselves the challenge of cutting our food spend right down, whilst maintaining healthy, balanced diets.
Our first idea was to introduce a meal plan.
We ordered a large magnetic meal planner to place on the fridge. It has each day of the week down the side and a shopping list section for the ingredients we need to buy. My wife is a vegan and so her meals need to be slightly different but it has plenty of room for us to write the two different meals or meal variations.
We all have our firm favourites when it comes to meals. I love pretty much anything but my favourites are home-cooked lasagne and really hot curry. Louis loves spaghetti and pizzas for which he makes his own tomato, chilli and garlic sauce and Teddy loves chicken wraps and food he can really get ‘involved’ with.
Each week we sit down as a family and decide on the meals we would like for the week. Sunday is always a large family roast; a tradition that we love and wouldn’t ever change but aside from that the meal choices are endless.
The meal planning is simple and easy to do. We each get to pick a favourite and then we fill the other days up knowing what leftovers we will have. For example; if our Sunday roast is chicken, then the Monday we will use the left over chicken for a curry.
We found that involving the children as much as possible in the meal planning means that they are more likely to eat the meals that we cook and therefore we create less waste. Another money saver.
Even at aged 2, Teddy is able to tell us all of the foods he loves and we can include them on the meal plan.
The ingredient list makes shopping so much easier and quicker. We do all of our shopping on-line and apart from the weekly staples we buy only what is on the ingredient list. Some of our meals we have regularly and so we always keep an eye out for special offers on the products we know we will be using the following week too.
We always make sure we check the cupboards and the freezer before we do the shopping so that we don’t waste money on products we don’t need. Before we started the new food planning regime I was completely unaware of how over-stocked our cupboards were.
The ease of clicking the favourites button during the on-line shop had meant that we had no end of jars of sauces that would take months to use up. Now we keep on top of everything and not only are we saving money, our cupboards are no longer bulging!
We’re saving money. We haven’t made it down to £50 a week yet, but we’re well on the way.
Here are some more great tips on shopping savvy & still eating well.
Have you got any tips to add?